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Josip Ilicic attains unique Champions League knockout feat by scoring four goals against Valencia, emulates Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski

Atalanta’s Josip Ilicic became the first footballer to score four goals in a Champions League knockout away game.

The Slovenian international scored all of La Dea’s goals in yesterday’s thrilling encounter against Valencia at the Mestalla which they won 4-3 in order to advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League by winning 8-4 on aggregate.

SEE MORE: Video: Ilicic strikes early for Atalanta to dampen prospect of Valencia comeback

Ilicic became only the fourth player to net four goals in a Champions League, the others being Lionel Messi in 2009/10 and 2011/12 (, Mario Gomez in 2011/12 and Robert Lewandowski in 2012/13.

The other players all scored their goals at their respective home grounds (Messi at Camp Nou, Gomez at Allianz Arena and Lewandowski at Signal Iduna Park) but Ilicic scored all of his in an away fixture.

The 32-year-old has been having an exceptional season so far, netting 21 goals while providing eight assists in 29 appearances across all competitions so far. Atalanta will be hoping to see Ilicic maintain his good form if they are to continue their dream run in the Champions League.

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